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Track and Field

Jackson track program receives record board

The Jackson track and field program received a donation from a local foundation over the summer, which was a record board for the team’s annual invitational.

The foundation that donated the board was the Parker King Foundation, which was started by Robin and James King after their son, Parker, passed away in 2012 to keep his memory alive.

Parker passed away that year following a UTV accident just a day before he was supposed to wrestle in what is now titled the Parker King Memorial Tomahawk Challenge.

“Parker had a heart of gold — he had a great spirit, he loved the outdoors and he loved sports,” Robin said. “… Sports and being outdoors and fishing were big things for him. Golfing, he loved to play baseball, wrestled and he played football. He did it all really.”

The foundation also donated a trophy case to the wrestling program earlier this year by splitting the cost with Jackson, which used money from its $10,000 winnings in the Pepsi MidAmerica Yellow Cape Challenge in December.

Donations also go to local youth athletics as the foundation uses the funds it raises from its annual baseball tournament.

Jackson track and field head coach Jim Stoverink said the program is grateful for the donation because it is a way to honor the athletes who have competed in past invitationals and Parker King himself.

“I’m not even sure how long this invitational has been going on — we’ve got records that go back to the early 80s,” Stoverink said. “I think it’s a great way to honor those athletes and the significant accomplishments they have made at the meet. At the same time, it commemorates a great, young man that probably would’ve been a big part of Jackson athletics.”

Parker was involved in sports such as baseball, football, golf and wrestling, so even though he may not have been on the track team, Stoverink is still glad he is able to keep the memory of Parker alive through his own program.

Stoverink was contacted about the foundation by a person that wishes to remain anonymous, who told Coach Stoverink the foundation wanted to know if there was anything his team needed or if they could make a contribution.

“[The record board] is what we came up with,” Stoverink said. “We had a couple different ideas, so we just kind of bounced ideas back and forth. I think we came up with something really, really great.”

The company that built the record board was Coast To Coast Signs LLC in Scott City, which was able to cut “a pretty good deal” for the board, according to Coach Stoverink.

Stoverink said the foundation paid for the cost of the sign as Jackson School District covered the installation.

“Normally Coast To Coast would make the board themselves and also install it,” Stoverink said. “So they cut us a deal on the price and there wasn’t any instillation cost because our maintenance department did the installation.”

Coach Stoverink said the foundation is another example of how well the Jackson community supports the athletic programs. He said it also shows what type of values the people in Jackson hold.

“I grew up with some of the members of the King family, and I’ve been friends with them for a long time,” Stoverink said. “[This foundation] just shows what great values they have, and how much they value the communities and the schools. I just really appreciate what they’ve done for us and for other programs in the Jackson School District also.”

Out of the 19 events in track and field making for a total of 38 spots on the record board for both boys and girls athletes, Jackson fills a total of eight spots.

Four of those records set were by members of the girls team while three were from the boys.

Sierra Maddox (pole vault), Jill Rushin (shot put), Landon Wachter (800-meter run) and the 2005 4×100 team are on the girls side.

For the boys, it is James Fortner (100/110 hurdles), Lane Lohr (pole vault), Dillon Rush (pole vault) and Mario Whitney (100-meter dash).

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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